Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

how to handle difficult daughter in law

I have recently started babysitting for my 5 month old granddaughter and her mother finds it problematic to bring the baby to my house because of her fears of dogs. I have a lab who wouldn't hurt a fly but she is terrified of the dog. She lives six miles away and I feel that I shouldn't have to drive over to their house all the time. Also she does not want me to drive with the baby because of her fears of an auto accident.

I am a very responsible person have raised two children work part time as an emergency room rn I truly feel her phobias are unreasonable and putting a strain on me. I recently had a talk with her and she became defensive and stated that I was unreasonable and not senstive to her feelings. Jokingly, I suggested she seek the help of Dr. Phil. Guess what no laughs she got very insulted.

I truly love my grandchild and feel a prisioner in my house since she does not want me to take the baby out.

Answer Question

Asked by shammyrock at 12:21 AM on Oct. 6, 2009 in Relationships

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I am of two minds on this, i think your DIL needs to lighten up about the driving part, seriously if you are a nurse then your mind and body work just fine and there should be no issue with driving with a baby. On the other hand i completely get the dog thing, I dont trust any dog but my own near my children not even my in-laws dog, my daughter was attacked by a family members dog and i kept being told he wouldnt ever hurt anyone my daughter must have done something to it, it went on to attack and bite 3 more children, my daughters face is forever scarred because of it.

    My MIL's dog bit my son in the rear thank god he was wearing a diaper it also would run after the kids to nip at them. So yeah i have issues with dogs and i understand her fears, maybe she had a similar experience ask her what her fear is based on and maybe the two of you can agree the dog be out side or in another room with no access to the baby.

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 12:32 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • I believe your daughter -N- law is being alittle over dramatic. If we all feared of taken out kids anywhere cause of accidents, What do we do stay home for every. What makes her think she wouldn't be hit by another driver while coming over to your house? As for the dogs... she's gona cause them to have a fear of them also which in my book is Not good, as they get older i'm sure they too will have friends that has them aswell. It is better to face ones fear than to avoid them in hope they never come along. Perhaps you should contact Dr.Phil on her behalf. ( not laughing either... I don't think it would be a bad ideal)

    Answer by Shaqbe4u at 12:34 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • I do understand where you are coming from with this. However, I think the easiest way to approach this would be to look at it like this - yes, you raised your children, and, obviously she must think you did a good job, or she wouldn't have fallen in love with your son. However, now it's her turn to raise her child, and she should have the same courtesy that you got (or that you should have gotten) when you were the mother of young children.

    Her expectations might be unreasonable - honestly, I don't know your dog, or where her fears of them come from. I know my dd (who's 15) would probably react the same way about it if she was a mom - she was bitten as a child and is very particular about dogs now. Same with the driving situation.

    BUT - you, too, have some options here -


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 12:37 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • cont

    I know you love your grandchild, and you want to spend time with her, but that doesn't mean you HAVE to babysit her. There is nothing wrong with telling them that you love them very much, and you love your grandbaby, but you see that you have some basic differences of opinion over pets and cars, and, BECAUSE you love them ALL so much, and you don't want these differences to come between you all, you think it would be best if they found someone else to watch her who wouldn't have a problem with THEIR (NOT "Her" ) rules. Stress that you absolutely respect their right to make these rules, as the parents of the baby, but, now that you're in the situation, you don't think the arrangements are going to work - you've grown to value your freedom to go places during the day too much to be able to change that now.

    Hopefully, they will be willing to compromise - maybe not around the dog, but you can drive, or whatever.


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 12:41 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • cont

    But the thing is - this is a two edged sword for all of you - they are the parents, and you have to accept that and follow their rules, regardless of how well you raised your own kids. But, by the same token, they are the parents, and child care is not your responsibility.

    Though I can tell you that I have a great relationship with my mil. There have been things I've decided that she didn't agree with entirely, or wished was different, but she respected that and didn't criticize, and, over the yrs, that has made me value her - and her opinion on things - that much more, and made me more willing to take her advice on other things. Just something to consider :-)


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 12:44 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • I think it would help if you put your dog away while you babysit. Animal are animals and it only takes a second for something horrible to happen. About the driving I don't think she is being unreasonable, I don't like anyone else besides myself or dh to drive anywhere with my baby in the car.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:46 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • I honestly believe that since the child is hers and not yours, you ought to respect her wishes when it comes to this. First, I know would dislike letting my 5 month old child ride in a car with anyone other than me or my husband. It doesn't really matter that you are an emt or that you are perfectly capable of driving - she doesn't want to allow it and that is her right. That goes for the dog issue as well. You may believe that the dog is harmless, but to a new mother, allowing anyone to babysit is stressful enough, without added (and unnecessary) stress. The fact is, at that age, a mother (especially a new mother) is very sensitive to anything having to do with the safety of her child. That is natural. So her fears may be unfounded, but they are present, and you need to respect that. If you had concerns when you were raising new babies, you wouldn't have liked someone else telling you that you needed counseling...

    Answer by Iskkra at 1:31 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • I must be a terrible DIL. My son is 15 months old and he still has not gone on an outing with the grandparents driving. This isnt because I dont trust their driving, but because I feel like I think about him ALL day long and that is just one more thing for me to worry about.
    I know I have the same chances of getting into an accident but the fear of not knowing the instant something happens is what gets me.

    It shoudnt be hard to keep the dogs away when your granddaughter is there. I think the way you handled it WAS insensitive and you need to remember what its like to be a first time mom. She is just trying to do a good job.

    When I ask my MIL to babysit, she always asks me where I want her to watch our son. Usually its at our house. She doesnt seem to have a problem with it and she LOVES to watch him. Every time before she leaves, she tells ME thank you before I can say it to her.


    Answer by jenellemarie at 1:39 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • My DIL is the same way! She doesn't want me to drive with the baby. She doesn't want me to play with the baby in my pool. I haven't been able to go anywhere with the baby.

    My grandson is 12 months. They even lived with me for a few months. Now she works and my son cares for the baby and I take care of him several afternoons a week. My son has started telling me to do what I want since she won't know. I'm not comfortable with that. If he wants me to take care of the baby and I have something I have to do I let my son know ahead of time so I'm not sneaking.

    At least my DIL isn't afraid of dogs. They have a lab mix that is great with my grandson and comes to my house with him. I have a golden retriever and a smaller dog and they play in my big back yard until they wear themselve out. I have cats but my DIL figured out when she lived with me that they keep to themselves.

    Talk to your son! I hope things get better.

    Answer by Gailll at 3:00 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

  • I think she should just stay home with her child if she is this concern about these issue. What if she didn't have You babysitting, a loving grandparent.( who loves a child as much as parents if NOT the grandparents) Would she even beable to trust someone else babysitting. I just can't believe some new parents go so overboard. So many children have NO grandparents to give them love or that extra cookie before leaving grandma's. Grandparents are there to love too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:29 AM on Oct. 6, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.